Volume 1 Chapter 4
It was the only word that came to mind when I heard the sound of the arrow releasing from the bowstring towards me. My mind froze, but my right hand reflexively swung the sword forward. At that instant, I felt resistance against my sword, as if hitting something. A strong force pushed against my right hand, as my left hand subconsciously gripped onto the sword. I turned my body sideways, focusing all my strength into my arms.
A strong wind ravaged past the earth besides me as I opened my eyes to find a pitch-black sword in my hand. It was delicate and showed no signs that it was forged by man; everything just seemed so natural. The graves behind me were blown to smithereens, and the ground now had two deep tracks.
Karile showed a smile, but it was not a cheerful one. It was more like the kind of smirk you make when you find an interesting opponent, a smile filled with self-deceit and hostility. She stabbed the tip of her bow into the ground and chanted, “Felink!”
The tombstones cracked apart and broke. Skeletons climbed from within, each holding a sword in hand.
“Karile, what are you…”
Before I could finish asking her, one of the skeletons lunged at me. With sword held high, the skeleton ran towards me. At that very moment I, for some reason, knew how to counterattack despite having not learnt anything about sword fighting. The memories which I never had before came rushing into my head. I received the blow with my sword held horizontally, then sidestepped and slashed the skeleton. I split its spine and thrusted my sword deep into its skull.
The other skeletons started charging at me. It felt familiar as I searched through my memories, or should I say, the memories reached out to me; the name of a spell which could slash everything around me surfaced within my mind. I took in a deep breath, held my sword tightly with both hands, then lightly chanted, “Fiater.”
Immediately, fiery flames surrounded me and twirled in a circle, spreading the flames outwards. It was an intense flame which seemed as though it could swallow everything in the world and turn all into ashes. The skeletons, without any exception, all turned into ashes and scattered into the wind. After the flames faded, Karile started clapping.
“Not bad, not bad. I’m quite surprised, Witsen.”
Although I was certain I had just fought a battle, it felt more like instinctual movements rather than me controlling my own body. I simply could not understand what just happened.
“This… I can do this?”
“That’s right, now I know why you are here in our world. That’s because your soul belongs here! You didn’t find the continent, the continent found you instead. Welcome home, lost one.” Karile ran over and hugged me tightly. I glimpsed at her face and noticed that there were tears in the corners of her eyes.
Dong, Dong, Dong…
The bell tower began to ring. It was a sound I’ve never heard before, a low-pitched and powerful sound. It felt similar to medieval horns that greeted knights who had just returned victorious from the battlefield.
“Hear that?” Karile let go of me and sighed. “Follow me, it’s time to let you see it.”
She brought me to the back of the church. There stood a large obsidian monument with nothing engraved onto it. Instead of a monument, given how polished it was, it looked more like a mirror.
“Walk into it.”
“Walk… into it? It’s a piece of stone…”
“No more talk, just do it.”
Karile pushed my back and I tumbled towards the monument. Just when I thought I would bump my head onto the hard obsidian, I instead passed right through it. It was like a permeable layer which allowed physical substance to pass through but blocked even the tiniest of light rays. Inside the monument was a hovering platform, and in the centre of it was what seemed to be an altar that was connected to the platform.
Karile followed behind and pointed at the altar.
“Put your sword on the altar.”
Just when I was about to do as she said, my arm was assaulted by a wave of stinging pain. I immediately withdrew my arm.
“Fuck! It hurts!”
“Pain, so you can feel pain as well!”
Karile ran over and forced my arm onto the altar.
“What are you doing!”
The moment I came into contact with the altar, the stinging pain faded, replaced by a scorching pain. Apart from the pain, it also felt like placing my arm into a tub of freezing water, chilling me all the way down to my bones. It was painful, but I couldn’t even make a sound with my mouth, let alone scream. I could only grit my teeth and withstand the pain with my willpower.
After a while, Karile pulled my arm away from the altar. I flopped to the ground, my entire body void of strength, and gasped for air. Relieved from the pain, I thought to myself that I would never touch that damned altar again, not even once.
“Quite good, way better than I am,” Karile sounded proud as she said so.
Before, I thought she was a pure teenage girl. Now I have completely changed my mind. This girl, she’s a devil!
“Let me ask you, Witsen.”
“If there was an evil power that threatened the people around you and the entire world, and you coincidentally have the strength to defeat it, would you go and exterminate the evil power?”
“Evil cannot simply be exterminated, just like justice always being present. Lose either one of them, and the world will lose its balance. If I had the power, I would make the evil ones my subordinates so they wouldn’t threaten justice.”
Ah… What the hell did I just ramble about? If I had the strength to, I would punch myself in the face.
“Is that so,” Karile looked into my eyes. “Got it. Thanks a lot.”